WASHINGTON DC: The Chicago based World Federation Of Tamil Youth USA (WFOTY) held a Memorial Service for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on January 4 at U. S. Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.The memorial service to India’s Iron Lady Amma at U.S. Capitol Hill was well attended by community activists from across the US and Canada.
Channa Kesavulu, Joint General Secretary, WFOTY, USA said that this is the first ever memorial service for an Indian leader held at US Capitol Hill.
Congressmen Danny K Davis (D-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) led the memorial service by paying rich tributes to late Ms. Jayalalithaa. Congressman Danny Davis described Jayalalitha as a leader who inspired people across the globe by her innovative welfare programs and women empowerment initiatives. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi praised the dynamic leadership of Jayalalitha and her life that embodied her relentless fight for the poor.
Dr Vijay G Prabhakar, President, World Federation of Tamil Youth, USA recalled his long association with Jayalalitha since 1977, when he interviewed her for All India Radio Yuva Vani program in Chennai as a student of Madras Medical College. Dr Prabhakar hoped that the endearing legacy of Amma Jayalalitha will be carried on by members of the AIADMK under the leadership of Chinnamma, Mrs Sasikala Natarjan to make Tamilians proud all over the world.
Among others who paid glowing tributes to Madam Jayalalitha were
Kishor Mehta, Chairman , Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force,7th Congressional District, Illinois, Nagender Sripada of IIT-(Chennai) Alumni Association ,USA, Dr Pratap Kumar, Founder, Association of Tamil Nadu Medical Graduates-USA, Ms. Shama Patel of MEATF International Woman Day Celebrations Committee, Oak Park, Illinois, Kokilan Kulathagir, Canada Chapter President, WFOTY,USA.
Parthian Shanmugam, Treasurer, WFOTY, USA said the Federation since its inception in 1992 had been celebrating Amma’s birthday here for the past 24 years consecutively with welfare programs for the aged and the disabled. This will continue to be celebrated to reach out to more people every year, he said.
The highlight of Amma’s birthday celebrations is that the Federation selects an individual every year to receive the Jayalalithaa Award. Awardees included several US Congressmen, Senators, Mayors, Governors and prominent citizens over the last 24 years.
Jerome Athistham, General Secretary, WFOTY, USA recalled some of the notable activities of the Federation that related to Amma over the years. These included seven States in USA proclaiming in 1995 that February 24 would be Jayalalitha Day in USA; naming of the street ”Jayalalitha Way” in Chicago in April 1996, establishing in 1999 Jayalalitha Institute of Preventive Medicine, Chicago, nominating in March 2006 Jayalalithaa for Noble Peace Prize, among other numerous activities.
India Post News Service